By Vladimir Trpkovski, Associate Director, Deloitte
Even though the ‘Blockchain’ concept has been around for a while, it really only made big news fairly recently; entering the mainstream psyche thanks to Bitcoin and its incredible media-frenzied surge over the last 12 months. It is however important to acknowledge that Bitcoin and Blockchain are not the same thing. Blockchain is the technology concept on which a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin is based, or in other words, Bitcoin is just one use case for Blockchain technology.
But, what is Blockchain exactly?
In a nutshell, a Blockchain is a technical concept that enables tamper-resistant transacting achieved by adding transactions to an immutable ledger that is duplicated and distributed across a network of decentralised computers (called nodes). The nodes in the Blockchain network use a predefined set of rules (known as a ‘consensus mechanism’) to agree on the ledger content and with the help of cryptography they are able to warrant integrity of transactions.
The decentralised nature of the computer network prevents any single participant, or group of participants, from controlling the entire system and makes the Blockchain a self-governing ‘single source of truth’ that therefore doesn’t require a third party entity to act as a mediator.
So why is Blockchain so important and what else can it be used for?
In the same way that the internet revolutionised the way in which information is shared, it is predicted that Blockchains will become the backbone of the next generation of applications and services that will democratise the exchange of value. By bringing together concepts such as cryptography, decentralised consensus and self-executing contracts, Blockchain technologies will be the driving force behind mass disintermediation of trade and transaction processing. They are expected to severely disrupt industry sectors such as finance, insurance, supply chain management as well as profoundly affecting our economic, political and social environment.
How can this be relevant for Global Mobility?
In today’s world of Global Mobility, during the lifecycle of a typical assignment tax, immigration and relocation vendors come together via a complicated sequence of processes and events to deliver services spanning multiple jurisdictions. This is exactly the textbook use case for a Blockchain, an environment where multiple parties who don’t necessarily trust each other, and with potentially conflicting interests, can exchange information in a secure and transparent way. But how will a Global Mobility Blockchain operate, and why is this relevant for Global Mobility professionals? Stay tuned as this will be explored in an upcoming blog post.
If you have ideas on how Blockchain can help improve global mobility please know below in the comments section. Alternatively, you can also contact us at GlobalWorkforce@Deloitte.co.uk